Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor can be submitted to news@chronline.com

When reading an article in the Dec. 29 edition of The Chronicle, I was amazed by the described behavior of Sheriff Rob Snaza. The duty of a sheriff is to enforce the law and the legal edicts of state and county government officials. Period. He cannot pick and choose. His job is to enforce the law and not editorialize about his personal beliefs when on the job. Everyone is concerned for the workers and owners of our fine restaurants like Spiffy’s. But it is the sheriff’s job to uphold the law and legal mandates. Sheriff Snaza, please do your job. 

Secondly, when he defies the advice of medical experts who have spent their entire lives studying health issues by not wearing a mask in public, he is doing a great disservice to the community. When he opens his mouth to speak, he will discharge an unseen aerosol plume, which can easily land on others and transmit a virus. It is his right to not wear a mask. But it is also his responsibility to wear one if he cares about others. So, Sheriff Snaza, please act responsibly.

Finally, a sheriff is a highly respected member of any community who has an outsized influence on its citizenry. When he issues a statement like, “don’t be a sheep” over a bullhorn, it may have the unintended consequence of inflaming unstable elements. 

Heaven knows, we don’t need any more of that in these volatile times. So, Sheriff Snaza, please choose your words in public very carefully. We all need you to do the very important work of enforcing the law in Lewis County.


Erik Dahl


(12) comments


The master, a Citizen, here begging his servant to do what he exists to do. Astonishing. The dishonor your sheriff lives by is astounding. And you locals lap it up!


Very well said Erik Dahl. I agree with you. The Sheriff needs to keep his personal political opinions completely to himself--especially when in uniform.

Hawk dude

I hope mr Snaza and those around him learn and growfrom this difficult situation.

I have observed Mr Snaza to be a man of high integrity but not a great

public speaker . He was handed a bullhorn one day in Napavine and

wanted to say something the crowd would embrace . He seemed to process for a couple seconds and what came out was " Don't be a sheep". He screwed up.

i believe we have lower rates of property crime and higher rates of prosecution than surrounding counties. The morale in Sheriffs department seems good. Like Mr Dahl

I hope Sherrif Snaza can support Virus control measures designed by science and leave the politics of convenience and rebel defiance at Frostys.

Born Again Pagan

Hope in one hand and scat in the other - see which one fills up faster.


Sheriff Snaza has made his opinion very clear of many of us in Lewis County, we "sheep" who choose to follow science and support others by wearing a mask. His literal dehumanization of a large portion of the citizenry of Lewis County by calling us animals should a big red flag to students of history. The following posts comprise an editorial I submitted twice to this newspaper, but which was rejected in favor of submissions about Borst Park Christmas lights, Bucoda Baseball and School Board Recognition Month.


My Austrian-born Great Uncle Johann was executed in one of Hitler’s concentration camps. Why? Was he a Jew? A gypsy? Gay? None of the above. He was gassed for being a political dissident. He was seen as being worthy of execution for disagreeing with the Nazis.


My Austrian father was pulled out of school as a teenager by the Nazis toward the end of the war, along with his friends and the old men in his village. The Nazis were running out of soldiers of fighting age and conscripted my dad and the others as expendable “cannon fodder” on the front lines. My dad was almost immediately injured and spent the rest of WWII in an army hospital right next to Bergen Belsen, the infamous concentration camp. When the Allies liberated the camp and its victims, my father watched out his hospital window as the full extent of the atrocities was revealed, bearing witness personally to the depths of inhumanity and cruelty human beings are capable of when they have successfully dehumanized fellow human beings that differ from them in some way, shape and form.


Through the lessons from Nazi Germany, we see how easy it becomes to attack or even kill fellow citizens when those on the other side of the conflict are seen as a dehumanized “Other,” someone so seemingly different from you that you no longer see them as a human being with hopes and fears, strengths and weaknesses just like your own. You come to view them as evil and monstrous, as so completely wrong in their views and utterly vile in their intentions that you no longer recognize or acknowledge their humanity. You turn them into enemies, deserving of punishment, or even violence and death. This is what killed Great Uncle Johann – being seen as a vilified “Other.”


I see this dehumanization happening every single day in the world around me, including in the comment sections of this very newspaper. The derision and contempt I see and hear daily is exactly what fuels our creation of hated “Others.” This verbal violence all too easily escalates into physical violence. This is how violence toward our fellow citizens (and non-citizens) starts. It has already begun.


But each of us has the individual power to put the brakes on adding to the hatred and division this way. Disagreement is vital to a democracy, but not in this way. We can each choose to stop dehumanizing each other. The drumbeats of war are all around us, with some actively calling for armed conflict and civil war. Please pay attention to these warning signs of escalating division and choose another path. Please commit to finding productive rather than destructive ways to engage with your fellow Americans, however different their views might be from yours. Please take a lesson from my Great Uncle Johann’s death and the nightmare of Hitler’s concentration camps and help to move this country toward finding solutions for our very real problems, not adding to the growing fear, anger and violence around us. United we stand. Divided we fall.

Born Again Pagan

Thank you sir for your prescient, well written insight.


Thank you for your moving comments, Ilhauer. And let's hope this paper prints your Letter to the Editor. Everyone needs to read this!

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